Mark Winkler: Sweet Spot (2011)

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Track review of "But Not For Me"

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Mark Winkler: Sweet Spot
For all of his musical bona fides, Mark Winkler is no more a jazz singer than Jim Caruso or Michael Buble
Michael Buble
Michael Buble
b.1975
vocalist
. In spite of the fact that he attracted the best of the best in his sidemen—bassist Robert Hurst, pianist Billy Childs
Billy Childs
Billy Childs
b.1957
piano
and drummer Gregory Hutchinson
Gregory Hutchinson
Gregory Hutchinson
b.1970
drums
—for Sweet Spot, he remains something else. The point being, that whatever kind of singer Winker is, it is beside the point. Like Caruso's Swing Set (Yellow Sound Label, 2011), Sweet Spot captures the art of the cabaret singer, the suave stylist with wit and perfect intonation.

Perfect intonation or not, Winkler, like Caruso, possesses that most important vocal element for a singer—a distinctive voice. Winkler's sonics are less than perfect, his voice too refined to contain grit, possessing a rasp that makes it unique—and, more importantly, identifiable. Add this to his keen arranger's ear and Winkler turns a standard like "But Not for Me" on its ear.

Childs introduces the Gershwin classic with a quote from the Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
songbook, using Red Garland
Red Garland
Red Garland
1923 - 1984
piano
's original introduction to Davis' 1956 Prestige recording of "If I Were a Bell," from Relaxin' With the Miles Davis Quintet. Winkler casts the song as originally sung by Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland
1922 - 1969
vocalist
in Girl Crazy. This is not your mother's Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
1929 - 1988
trumpet
cover; Winkler means business, singing crisply with superb support. A splendid bass solo sums up the rendition that is as tasteful as it is creative and emotive.

Personnel: Mark Winkler: vocals; Eli Brueggemann: piano; Tim Emmons: bass; Steve Barnes: drums; Bob Sheppard: sax; Kim Richmond: sax; Grant Geissman: guitar; Billy Childs: piano; Greg Hutchinson: drums; Anthony Wilson; guitar; Nolan Shaheed: trumpet; Robert Hurst: bass; Luis Conte: percussion.

Record Label: Cafe Pacific Records

Style: Vocal


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